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Keywords: critical realism, crisis, Romanticism, modernism, artistic method.
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Ovcharenko O.A. М. Gorky as a Theoretician of Literature. Studia Litterarum, 2018, vol. 3, no 1, pp. 234–251. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2018-3-1-234-251

Author: Olga A. Ovcharenko
Information about the author:

Olga A. Ovcharenko, DSc in Philology, Leading Researcher, A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia.

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Received: December 15, 2017
Published: March 25, 2018
Issue: 2018 Vol. 3, №1
Department: Russian Literature
Pages: 234-251
DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2018-3-1-234-251
UDK: 821.161.1.0
BBK: 83.3(2Рос=Рус)6


The essay focuses on the theoretical problem of M. Gorky’s artistic method claiming that Gorky’s work combines elements of realism, Romanticism, and modernism. Already at the beginning of his career, he realized that critical realism was in crisis as his opinions about the work of such realist writers as Gogol, Turgenev, Dostoevsky and others testify. Gorky was deeply unsatisfied by either his predecessors or contemporaries as we can tell based on the analysis of his critical views, and this feeling of dissatisfaction forced him to look for the ways of modernizing realism during his whole lifetime. Bearing on the concept of B.V. Mikhailovsky about the crisis of realism at the turn of the 19 th and20 th centuries, author of this article discusses Gorky’s attempts to do something about this and of these attempts interpretation in contemporary literary studies. At the same time, the essay examines different definitions of Romanticism as suggested by Gorky as well as his interest in modernism that found manifestation in his tales written from 1922 through 1924. The section entitled “Characterology” raises the question of Gorky being unsatisfied with positive characters of critical realism and his attempts to make up for the deficiency of the latter in the images of truth-searchers, tramps, and women.


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